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Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates (MOSAIC)
Madison Nortz, EAA Government Advocacy
A top priority of EAA’s advocacy team, Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates (MOSAIC) rulemaking, will be front and center in discussions with top government officials throughout the week of AirVenture 2022. MOSAIC has been highly anticipated by the general aviation community, as it includes reform to light-sport and experimental aircraft categories that would significantly increase utility and safety while also spurring the growth of general aviation.
Current size and weight regulations limit the usefulness of light-sport aircraft as training aircraft for flight schools. Changing the limitations of LSAs from an arbitrary weight to performance-based metrics will allow for larger and more capable aircraft and permit a wider range of students and instructors to fly them, significantly increasing access to flight training. This will afford flight schools more opportunities to refresh their fleets by making larger and more durable LSAs a viable option for training operations. MOSAIC will also enable innovation by removing the restriction that powered LSAs must have a reciprocating engine. This will enable future electric, hybrid, distributed power, and other new propulsion technologies.
Along with the increased capacity and capability in LSAs, EAA is pushing hard for an equally significant expansion of the sport pilot certificate. By leveraging sport pilot’s system of training and instructor endorsements, we believe that current and future sport pilots can expand the privileges of their initial certificate to operate larger and more capable aircraft. This would apply to both sport pilots and higher-rated pilots operating under the privileges of a sport pilot certificate, enhancing a pathway for existing pilots to remain active in general aviation.
MOSAIC is also expected to contain important reforms for the experimental aircraft community. This will chiefly come in the form of less restrictive language in 91.319, allowing operating limitations to be assigned by policy based on risk rather than across the board. The inflexibility of Part 91 rules as applied to experimental aircraft was on full display in the aftermath of a court decision last year. This decision briefly removed the ability to receive flight training in experimental aircraft, disrupting industry operations and impacting safety.
MOSAIC has been in the works for several years and is nearing completion; if given priority, the FAA could release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) later this year. The EAA advocacy team will be working hard this week to ensure that government officials understand the importance of MOSAIC and the safety benefits and growth opportunities we all stand to gain by issuing it expeditiously.